Thoughts of an Angel

Larry Angel from Woodthorpe Development Trust by Woodthorpe Fishponds
Larry Angel from Woodthorpe Development Trust by Woodthorpe Fishponds

Born in Richmond, Surrey, in 1943, Larry Angel has been married to Anne for 45 years.

Woodthorpe Fishponds

The Fishponds Action Group was set up in response to the residents of Woodthorpe meeting at the Woodpecker Group, and asking for help in cleaning up the pond. The parks and countryside rangers arranged for an information day, which we attended – and were hooked (not literally!). The fishpond is all that remains of a 300-plus-year-old fishpond in the grounds of Woodthorpe Hall. I have spent many hours with colleagues cleaning out the area, planting bulbs and fondly remember the day we planted the hawthorn hedge around the site. It snowed and it was extremely cold but we carried on. The group had Big Lottery funding some years ago to dredge the pond and put in benches and picnic tables. The site has been well used by local residents and schools but unfortunately, due to drainage problems, has now closed to the public on health and safety grounds. The group is hoping to reinstate it to its former glory at some stage.


My involvement in the Woodthorpe area began with the activities at the Fishponds and led to my becoming chair of Woodthorpe Development Trust, formerly Woodthorpe Forum. I have many happy memories of my work in the area. In the early years we were housed on the back corridor at the old Woodthorpe School. The trust was instrumental in the planning of the new school, the first new building in Woodthorpe for 30 years. Demolition of the old school resulted in the trust moving to the tenants’ and residents’ association building, where we are today. I am passionate about Woodthorpe and the people who live and work here. I just couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Woodthorpe Community Primary School

I have been chair of governors at Woodthorpe School for many years and get a lot of pleasure from interacting with the children who are a joy to be around. We had a new school building five years ago, from which time the pupils have come on in leaps and bounds. Every time I’m there, I’m more and more inspired by our future generations.

Crown green bowling

I love to play bowls and I am happy to play anywhere in Sheffield but I have a particular allegiance to Richmond Park Bowling Club where I have been a member for a very long time and chairman for the last 11 years. My favourite memory of bowling is my first win at Longley Park 21-8. It was the second game from the end of the season and I went on to win again the next week.

Burton Street Foundation restaurant

This is a wonderful little gem, terrific food at very reasonable prices and served by well-trained staff who have various learning and communication difficulties. Through the Burton Street Foundation in Hillsborough, they have been given a chance to have a bit of independence.

Frog and Parrot

Whenever my wife and I are shopping in Sheffield, we try to call here. We find the food is exceptional value and I like to try the different beers on offer. Another reason I like this pub is because it is a great place to ‘people watch’. Division Street is always bustling.


Castleton is great for a day out. Get on the bus in Pond Street (bus pass in hand), arrive in Castleton an hour later – simple! We like to spend some time looking in all the little shops, then have some lunch and back home to Sheffield and for a nice cup of tea. When our children were small, they liked to visit Castleton to see the Christmas lights. This is still a highlight of the build-up to Christmas for me.

Sheffield United

I have always supported the Blades but it is only the last couple of years that I have been the holder of a season ticket, and the best decision I have made in years was to join the Senior Blades. There is a meeting once a month with a nice meal and very good company. The really good thing is that, although my wife is not a football fan, she can come as my guest and enjoy the afternoon too.


Although we have been abroad to various places over the past five years, my favourite place for a holiday is the village of Dent in Cumbria. We first went there 41 years ago and try to go back as often as we can. The scenery is beautiful and the people warm and friendly. We were introduced to Dent by my in-laws who visited there regularly. We carried on the tradition and a holiday in Dent is a firm favourite with our grandchildren, four generations… not bad!

Bus Stop by The Hollies

The song Bus Stop by The Hollies reminds me of the night I met my wife on the 97 bus to Nether Edge Dance Hall. When I got off the bus it was pouring with rain and I asked if I could share her umbrella. When we got to the dance hall, I paid for her to get in and we are still together 46 years later. There’s a line in Bus Stop that goes “Please share my umbrella… Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows.”